Good Question! I'm a software developer in the UK primarily using Laravel.
I've been developing with web technologies for 6+ years, much longer non-professionally. Initially starting in marketing I now work at a UK based ed-tech on an apprenticeship management platform.
Look out for this little tl;dr box on any of my articles. I know that everyone has busy lives and sometimes, you just want a quick summary. I’ll try to include a box like this at the top of any article summarising the key points.
My education history is very exciting, other than proving that you don’t need a fancy degree or expensive tuition to get into a software development career. I completed my GCSEs in 2013, nothing ridiculous a mix of Cs, Bs and As. I later completed my A-Levels in 2015, achieving a range from D - A*s. Unsurprisingly the best subject was IT.
After completing my A-Levels I knew I wanted to go into a web development career. I was also thinking of going to university and studying game development. This is something I decided not to pursue but is a hobby of mine to dabble in some game development here and there.
In 2016 I completed an IT apprenticeship with a marketing agency near me, working as their in-house web developer.
Outside of formal education I’ve been self-teaching using website articles, YouTube and paid courses. In the early days of my Laravel journey I was also subscribed to Laracasts, the best source of Laravel knowledge for anyone, whether you’re new or experienced!
After completing my apprenticeship back in 2016 I remained at the marketing agency for a number of years. During this time I grew my confidence, experience and improved my problem solving skills. I also gained experience in design and learnt some very useful tips on the fundamentals of design.
Working in marketing is great, you get to work with new and existing business, experiment with design trends and learn new things. It was at this time I picked up Laravel and started to use it for some of the larger, more complex projects.
I worked in marketing for almost four years before deciding I wanted to try something new. The biggest drawback with marketing, for me, is that it’s very fast-paced and while that in itself wasn’t a problem, the inability to spend time on features of a project meant that rather than learning new things I was mostly constrained to short deadlines. This meant I would always revert to techniques, methods and tools I already knew.
In 2019, I left marketing and joined a ed-tech software company. Working with Laravel it focuses on apprenticeship management software. I’ve now been working here for 2+ years. It was one of the best decision I made, not only do I now spend much more time working on a specific feature, allowing for new tools to be tested and techniques trialled, but I’ve also working within a team of other developers, previously I was on my own. Working with a team of other developers who are more experienced than me has been game changing in my career. I’m able to learn new things from them, while also, in some instances, teach them about my experiences from marketing or with Laravel.